Black History Month is celebrated in February of every year and is an excellent opportunity to educate our children on black history, social studies, and modern politics. To help you celebrate, we’ve put together a list of our favorite Black History Month books written by black authors that teach young children about the lives of Black people in America and around the world. Below is our list of books that we know you and your little one will love and can be checked out next time you visit your local Osceola County Library branch!
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o “Sulwe,” by Lupita Nyong’o is a New York Times Bestseller that inspires children to see their own unique beauty through a heartwarming story. It follows the story of a young girl who wishes for her dark skin to be lighter. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything. The story is ultimately about colorism and learning to love oneself, no matter one's skin tone.
I am Enough by Grace Byers “I am Enough” by Grace Byers is a lyrical ode to loving who you are. Respecting others and being kind to one another is a key message this author wants to bring to the next generation. This is a great story to build up children and teach them about loving yourself and those around you.
Mixed Me! by Taye Diggs “Grandpa Cacao,” by Elizabeth Zunon, tells the story of a young girl learning about her grandfather, a former farmer who harvested cacao, the most important ingredient in chocolate. While baking a birthday cake, she realizes the importance of farmers then she has a special surprise at the door. Zunon says growing up, her mother read to her and her little brother in English and French, which inspired her to become a children’s book author and illustrator. There's still so much to read! With plenty of options, read alouds can encourage your little one to have fun while falling in love with reading. We have books from authors such as Grace Byers and Matthew Cherry shared on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Did you miss these titles? Check them out below!
Firebird by Misty Copeland “Firebird,” by Misty Copeland, follows a little girl whose confidence is fragile and wants to follow in her idol’s footsteps. With faith in herself and hard work and dedication, she aspires to become a Firebird. Did you know in 2012, Misty Copeland became the first Black ballerina to play the “Firebird” with the American Ballet Theatre?
The Night is Yours by Abdul-Razak Zachariah This book is “The Night is Yours,” by Abdul-Razak Zachariah, and teaches children about beauty and strength as Amani, with the help of her partner, the moon, plays hide and seek with her friends at her apartment complex. Zachariah says the main character is inspired by his sister, and the book’s setting was similar to the apartment complex he grew up in.
Grandpa Cacao by Elizabeth Zunon “Grandpa Cacao,” by Elizabeth Zunon, tells the story of a young girl learning about her grandfather, a former farmer who harvested cacao, the most important ingredient in chocolate. While baking a birthday cake, she realizes the importance of farmers and then receives a special surprise at the door. Zunon says growing up, her mother read to her and her little brother in English and French, which inspired her to become a children’s book author and illustrator.
Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry “Hair Love” by Matthew A. Cherry is an ode to loving your natural hair and celebrate the special bond between fathers and daughters. Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way and she knows it’s beautiful. When her father steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he loves his daughter, and he’ll do anything to make her happy.
These Black History Month books may be some of our favorites but there are more books you can read this month! With five library branches located throughout Osceola County, the Osceola County library has more books you can check out to celebrate the black voices and stories in our community and nation. Make sure to log your child’s minutes and books in Beanstack for special rewards and, if you aren’t signed up already, you can do so right on the Osceola County library’s website!
Remember to Log Into Beanstack.